Reflections of Christmas Day

26 12 2011

Picture-perfect family home on Christmas Day

Once when I was a teen, my best friend Margy had the bright idea that I should bring all my Christmas presents to her house to open with her family on Christmas morning.

Sometimes I’d go after Christmas Eve service, when we sang in the choir, and spend the night so I could witness the little kids’ joyful squeals as they awoke to see what was under the tree for them.

We’re senior adults now, and Margy’s been living in Oregon, but for most of the Christmas mornings that followed I have visited the venerable Sinclair Family home.

Presents under the tree

Each year varies as to who of my hanai family is arriving throughout Christmas Day, and Mom Ivalee who reared six children can rattle off the list.

Yesterday DH and I were the first to arrive and the last to leave.

That meant I could help make breakfast with Kathy and Ruth. And wash dishes — my job. Ruth cracked open the eggs for two big pans of scrambled eggs with bacon, onion, and cheddar cheese that Kathy tended while I toasted and buttered English muffins. We kept brewing more coffee as the others arrived.

Kathy comes from her Idaho ranch every year and helps Mom decorate. Now widowed, she’s voiced her plans to move back home to Manoa with her horses, cats and dog. Ruth, also an equestrian, is single again too, and she has listed her Kailua house for sale and already moved back to Mom’s with her dog Shadow. These life changes have a way of working out, and it’s wonderful these three wahine (women) are together at home.

My hanai sisters and mom: Kathy, Ivalee, and Ruth

The Hurleys from Australia and Las Vegas arrived. They all came to Hawaii for the baptism last week of their baby granddaughter Jasmine, born to Jodee and Paul. These lovely folks are in-laws and daughter of Julie, my hanai brother Karl’s wife.

Jasmine is baptized, Dec. 18, at St. John Vianney church

The senior Hurleys, who live near Melbourne, gave DH and I the idea of buying an around-the-word air ticket when the time comes to visit Miss Marvelous and her family in Italy, which is half way around the globe from Hawaii. (Have I mentioned they’re moving for three years? 😉 and  😦 Big change!)

The Hurleys said that plan could be cheaper than buying an out-and-back round trip, and then we could visit them in Australia. I will look into it!

Karl’s family includes Brandon and his lady Charlotte, who also drove up, and Brandon’s little girl Trinity. Then my first college roommate Becky arrived on her way to the UH ball game.

Presents for everyone! Trinity and her cousin Patrick, 3,  liked popping the bubble wrap the best.

The morning group left, and in the lull I washed dishes. There were a lot of them. We walked the dog until we got tired, and Ruth made three yummy from-scratch pies for dinner. We staged the rest of the dinner meal around a baked ham and kalua turkey. I think Mom spoke long distance with her two eldest, David and Margy, in Alaska and Oregon. Our thoughts were with Margy and family whose husband Jon is recovering well from a stroke.

Then Miss Marvelous, her parents Ari and Travis, and baby Perrin arrived. Afternoon wine for the adults!

Shadow, Ari, and baby Perrin

Luckily my hanai brother Brian’s family could make it for dinner, as his physician’s on-call duties were light. Our niece Anna is home from college. As she spent a high school year in Italy, our kids were anxious to hear from her what living abroad might be like.

I made only a few photos in between opening gifts, visiting with everyone, and . . . washing dishes! No images of the peak excitement periods, but be assured, it was another Christmas Day of family love at the Sinclairs’. Here’s GG, our touchstone, with the youngest of our extended clan.

GG (Great grandmother) and Perrin (age 1 month)

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke
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